Foxconn: Recruitment suspended due to installation of robots

Foxconn: Recruitment suspended due to installation of robots

Summary: Key manufacturer for Apple has halted hiring at its Chinese plants because it wants to further automate its processes with robots and replace employees.


Electronics manufacturer Foxconn has halted recruitment in China, which it claims is due to plans to further automate processes, amid speculation of a reduction in production demand by its key client Apple.

In fact, the recruitment freezes among Foxconn this time is due to its long pronounced plans to install million robots to replace human, Chinese newspaper Beijing News reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified employees.

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou had ordered all factories in China earlier this year to beef up automated manufacturing processes by using more robots. According to the report, if any factories plan to conduct large-scale recruitment, it will need his personal approval.

Foxconn has plans to roll out one million robots to further automate manufacturing by 2014.

The manufacturer makes various kinds of Apple products including iPhone and iPad, had denied earlier its hiring freeze in its largest Chinese base in Shenzhen was linked to lackluster iPhone 5 sales worldwide.

However, Foxconn in an official statement contributed the slowdown in recruitment process to "an unprecedented rate of return of employees following the Chinese New Year holiday" as compared to past years.

In the Beijing News report, the unidentified source, however, admitted the recruitment freeze in Foxconn was "somehow related to the reduction in iPhone 5 production".

In January, Apple has cut its component orders for the iPhone 5 due to the weaker-than-expected demand, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Foxconn's determination to replace human labors with robots are not groundless. In June 2011, Gou announced the company would deploy one million robots across factory assembly lines within three years.

The move will improve production efficiency and combat rising labor costs, and is also believed to be in response to a spate of suicides and criticism over working conditions at the company.

Topics: IT Employment, Apple, iPhone, iPad, China

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • In the near future

    You know conditions are bad when the robots start jumping off buildings.
  • That's how begins the fall of China's cheap factory backstore.

    When robots can do the whole job, there will be no more need for cheap people from China. The factories would be then built only at places where you can count on cheap energy. If there's a good enough technology to take lots of cheap energy from the sun - factories will be located in South America, Africa and Australia.
  • That's the risk

    If foreign companies aren't loyal to their own workers and countries, then why should they be loyal to yours?
    John L. Ries
  • Did a robot edit this?

    Paragraph 3:

    "...the recruitment freezes among Foxconn this time is (are) due to its long pronounced (announced) plans to install (a) million robots to replace human(s)..."

    Too-Tired Techie